When can you remove an estate executor?

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2023 | Probate And Estate Administration |

The executor of an estate holds a great deal of both responsibility and power. In most cases, they run the estate well and do what they can to honor the deceased.

But in some cases, an executor may need removal from the estate plan. What are the main grounds for removing an executor?


Empathy discusses grounds for dismissal of an executor. Some, like these first two, are out of an executor’s hands.

Incapacitation, for example, can include anything that affects a person’s physical or mental health or state in a way that renders them incapable of carrying out their duties. This can include sudden sickness, accident, injury or mental illness.


In some cases, an executor will lose their ability to maintain this role if they move outside of the state. In others, however, the court may direct an executor to furnish security to retain their role.

Estate mismanagement

If an executor fails to perform their expected duties, then the court can remove them from the role. This can include incompetent management that leads to accidental fraud, or it can include the intentional mismanagement of finances, i.e. taking property or money from the estate.

Charges of voluntary manslaughter or homicide

Finally, either of these aforementioned charges may result in the individual getting removed from the estate. However, non-guilty verdicts for such charges may result in a reinstatement of the role.

It is important to keep these in mind when choosing an executor, or when an executor chooses to accept the position.